I like my burgers juicy, spicy, and loaded with toppings and this delicious recipe hits all my buttons. Flavoursome pork mince, bacon, jalapeños, cheese and in a clear nod to my Antipodean roots, a big slice of sweet pineapple – all served up with a big side of Asian inspired slaw. Perfect hot weather fare, and a super speedy weeknight meal for when you want to get dinner on the table quickly.
The thing with burgers of course, is that we all have a favourite topping – I think pineapple is truly delicious on a burger while others can’t even imagine it. I love spicy jalapeños in just about everything while some may find them much too hot.
My mother always got around this problem by serving us kids ‘Construction Burgers’ where the cooked patties and all possible toppings were brought to the table and everyone could build the burger of their dreams – after all, life is too short to fight over burger topping, right? So consider my topping suggestions here merely a guideline – do stick to the cooking times and I promise your burgers will be lovely and juicy.
For burger patties, as with most meats, they benefit from being left alone in the pan – not being constantly flipped (I know it’s tempting) and please resist the urge to squash them with the back of the spatula – it is the fastest road to dry patties as they split and all those lovely juices leak out.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
Spicy Pork & Bacon Burgers
for the slaw:
- ¼ - ½ a small cabbage
- 2 spring onions
- 1 large carrot
- a small bunch of coriander or parsley
- 100 ml rice wine vinegar
- 25 ml neutral oil
- 1.5 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
for the burgers:
- 500 g pork mince
- 25 g breadcrumbs
- ½ an onion, very finely diced
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 burger buns
- 4 slices bacon
- 4 slices cheese
- 4 pineapple rings
- salad leaves
- sliced onion
- mild mustard
- First make the slaw by cutting the hard core from the cabbage, then slicing very finely using a sharp knife. Thinly slice the spring onions and grate the carrot. Put the cabbage into a serving bowl, and use your hands to knead and squeeze the cabbage for about a minute - this breaks down the structure a little and makes it easier to eat.
- Toss the cabbage together with the spring onion, carrot and the leaves of the coriander, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Pour over the slaw, toss to combine and chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- To make the patties, mix all burger ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together, until it feels smooth and a bit sticky. This will stop the patties falling apart when cooked. Divide into 4 equal pieces, roll into balls, then flatten out using your hands.
- Heat a lightly oiled grill pan or barbecue grill to medium-high. Toast the burger buns on the grill pan and set aside. Fry the bacon in the pan until crisp, then push to the side to keep warm. Cook the burger patties for 4 minutes on each side, only turning them when the 4 minutes are up. In the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place a slice of cheese on each of the patties.
- Meanwhile, prepare the toppings as desired. When the patties are cooked, transfer them to the toasted buns with your choice of toppings, secure with a wooden kebab stick and serve with the slaw on the side.
TIPS & TRICKS:
If you’re not a pork eater, these would work perfectly well with beef, chicken or turkey mince and the cooking times will be around the same.
If you are not a fan of coriander in the slaw, swap it out with parsley. If you can’t find rice wine vinegar, plain white vinegar will work as well.